Malaysiakini Yoursay

Young man, no debater is better than the facts

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘It is fallacious to think a clever debater can use the gift of the gab to win any argument.’

Asia's top debater ticks off DAP's half-hearted challenge

SteveOh: Should Asia’s top debater Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman challenge 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy to a debate on 1MDB instead?

It is fallacious to think a clever debater can use the gift of the gab to win any argument. Alas, no.

The late former US president Richard Nixon was one of the best debaters in Congress and his oratory was second to none. He would give another great orator, the late John F Kennedy, a run for his money. But Nixon was unable to save himself from Watergate Scandal because no debater is better than the facts and the truth.

Nixon, despite his huge efforts in resisting impeachment, lost and the rest is history. So did Bill Clinton, despite his eloquence. One gifted in oratory can only hold court for only so long. Ultimately, the facts and record speak louder than the entrancing voice or logic of a debater. Barack Obama is living proof.

The important question in the 1MDB debacle is 'What are the facts?' Who is the donor of the RM2.6 billion? Where, how, when, what, why answers are needed on the RM42 billion debate. Substance supersedes form.

Odysseus: Syed Saddiq, life is not about getting to the stage and having a good debate. It goes beyond that.

I am not sure if you have the level of maturity to read the political games BN is playing here. Please analyse the implication of having the debate, and then have the House speaker to suspend Tony Pua from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and not allow Arul to appear before PAC.

Is having a debate far more important than having Pua suspended and Arul skipping the PAC inquiry? Please, wise up and do not fall into their trap.

Gggg: I guess this young boy saw it coming. Do you really think the debate will take place? If Arul has something good to say, he would make himself available to PAC at the earliest opportunity, but he didn't.

Anonymous #21828131: Syed Saddiq, I am sure you know that Umno can bend everything to its advantage to stay in power. For instance, look at what the House speaker is saying now. Also, the about-turn by the PAC chairperson within a span of 24 hours.

Therefore, we can understand Pua's predicament. For a person of your calibre, I thought it would have been easy for you to grasp the situation, but many of us were wrong.

Look at what happened to the attorney-general (AG), the special task force and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). I am sure you are aware that they were dismantled systematically. Is that right or wrong?

We know that you are a good debater, but I suppose that is that. For now, Pua's position in the PAC must be protected because we know that without him, it would be a whitewash by the powers-that-be.

Pua is still the white knight for us, the rakyat in general. So is he being an opportunist or is he doing his level best to expose corruption?

Drngsc: Yes, Pua being in PAC is crucial for us to get to the truth. We can always find another debater. When you have the truth, speaking about it is not difficult.

When you have to bluff and use tricks of language, it is because you are trying to cover up a half-truth or a lie. The government of Malaysia is trying its level best to deny us the truth.

True Colors: There is really no need for any debate. We just want answers to the 10 questions posed by Pua.

We are least interested to see who has better debating skills, for there are more worrying issues, like 1MDB, to prioritise.

CHKS: Indeed, winning a debate does not necessarily mean uncovering the truth. You can still skirt around and hide the truth with your debating skills.

Abasir: This young fellow should put his new-found fame to better use rather than rush in with an ill-informed, superficial opinion on matters which are clearly beyond his ken.

If he continues in this vein, chances are he will end up being just another sanctimonious, know-all, loud-mouth, the likes of whom we periodically encounter in Malaysiakini .

Truly analytical thinking (and wisdom) do not result automatically as a result of being a debater. Neither does it manifest just because you unabashedly proclaim yourself to be an analyst.

Quigonbond: Syed Saddiq, you're missing the point, good debater that you are. Pua is up to the challenge. But BN is not.

Observe their behaviour - this strict interpretation of standing order, departure from parliamentary norms, PAC's unreasonable gag order, House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia's tantrum, etc, they are all orchestrated to scuttle the debate, and more so, to permanently gag Pua from speaking on the issue at all.

In principle, is it more important to be in a position of some authority to keep digging at the truth or to attend to a live debate? I think you know the answer.

Shindig: Let's not be too harsh on the young man. He at least has youth on his side and demonstrated his capacity to think. He does not deserve it.

What deserves censure and relentless shouting are the adult corrupt masters and bootlickers holding high-level positions, who are now perverting every course of justice available to continue the Umno-BN ‘rule of terror’.

Focus, people. Stop getting distracted by white noise and youth that are still finding their feet. Let us not descend to the levels that Umno-BN have descended.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now .

These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

Sign in

Welcome back,

Your subscription expires on

Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before

Your subscription is expired
  Click here to renew

You are not subscribed to any subscription package
  Click here to subscribe now

Any questions?
  Email: [email protected]
  Call: +603-777-00000